A Somalia family who was living secretly as Christian converts from Islam was invaded in their own home and shot to death by Islamic extremists believed to be affiliated with the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab terrorist group.
Morningstar News, an organization whose employees report on the persecution of Christians worldwide, stated four al-Shabaab terrorists broke into the home of Suleiman Abdiwahabin during the middle of the night on Feb. 10. The home is located in a town about 20 miles west of Mogadishu.
Abdiwahab, 38, and his family reportedly were sleeping when the perpetrators broke down their front door, entered their home and shot him, his 35-year-old wife, Faduma Osman, and his 11-year-old son, Ahmed Suleiman. Although Abdiwahab survived his gunshot injuries, his wife and his son died from the bullet wounds. Abdiwahab's two daughters and 9-year-old son ran out the backdoor and survived.
"The gunmen fired several shots, then destroyed the door with a big metallic object and were able to enter into the house," Abdiwahab told Morningstar News in an interview. "They randomly shot at everyone."
Abdiwahab said the militants shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greater) while committing the crimes, reports Christian Post. He recalled the militants saying they "cannot allow the defiling of our religion with a foreign, Western religion."
Sources told Morningstar News that neighbors found Abdiwahab, his wife, and son lying in pools of blood and took Abdiwahab to a local hospital in Afgoi after realizing that he was still alive. Abdiwahab was later transported to a medical center in Mogadishu for advanced treatment.
Abdiwahab since relocated to a shelter for safety reasons.
"Abdiwahab, due to the blessings of the Lord, has survived and is recovering from serious gunshot wounds," a source told Morningstar News.
With the presence of al-Shabaab in Somalia, the African country ranks as the second-worst country in the world when it comes to the persecution of Christians, according to Open Doors USA's 2017 World Watch List. "Christian converts from Islam in the country have been facing a great deal of persecution, and martyrdom is very common," an Open Doors fact sheet on Somalia states. "The mere suspicion of one's having renounced Islam leads to a rushed public execution."